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The Scarlet Pimpernel

Saturday Night Fever

Camille Claudel

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From Ryan Black in Los Angeles:
Hey Nan- I'm currently performing in your show!!! The Scarlet Pimpernel w/ Cabrillo Music Theatre. I'm playing Elton and St. Cyr and I'm loving it so much. I had the pleasure of meeting Frank and Linda a couple years ago at The Elton John Oscar party and they were so down to earth and nice. I wasn't performing at the time and until now, haven't performed for 4 years. I told Frank one day I'd do one of his shows and here I am, my first one back in four years! I had no idea what a beautiful and fun show it is to do. My favorite line is "Every Judas once loved a Jesus, but finally treason will seize us". I just think that is brilliant. My question for you is...well I do have many, but... I know you added a new rendition of "You are my Home", but why did you take out the incredible one between Armand and Marguerite? I'm just curious I loved that arrangement. I'm having a blast singing your words. Of course Creation of Man is the most fun. Uhhhh what a fun number. Thank you. Thank you for Elton and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Maybe someday, I'll originate a role for you! "In my dreams".....

Thursday, 8 January 2004

Dear Ryan,

Thanks for your great letter, and you shouldn't say "In my dreams...". Maybe someday you WILL originate a role for me. If you're playing Elton, you must be very funny. Elton is one of my favorite characters in the show. OK - here is the rather convoluted answer to your question.

As you probably know, when we switched directors in the summer of 1998, we really made major changes in the show. And what we ended up with is the version you have now (informally known as Pimpernel 2.0 - there are actually 4 versions because we also made changes when we moved to the Neil Simon in our third year, and more changes when we went out on the national tour - but 2.0 is my favorite).

Among other things we got a new leading lady - Rachel York. It turned out that Rachel's favorite song from the SP concept album was "I'll Forget You" and she desperately wanted to sing it in the show. The only spot that made sense to me was for her to sing it in the jail, and Ron Melrose did an incredible vocal arrangement with choral backup from the other prisoners which completely sold me on the idea. Then we had to find another spot for "You Are My Home" and, although I truly love the song "Believe" (which is on the original Broadway cast album), there was a group decision made to the effect that the "You Are My Home" lyrics would be slightly rewritten, and it would now become the new wedding song and replace "Believe". It was a hard choice, and I'm still not 100% certain that it was the right choice. However, the critics liked us the second time around, and most people seemed happy with "You Are My Home" as the wedding song.

Thanks for asking and I hope you continue to have fun in the show.


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